The power of plants in supporting our health

Herbal medicine on the coast – A herb dispensary is now open at Puravita in Matapouri

Herbs of medicinal use are now available in Matapouri; their prescription is delivered after a naturopathic assessment or identification of a specific ailment and its cause.

Many herbs are well known to the public, like Echinacea, useful for strengthening the immune system and fighting colds and flus as well as other types of infections. Object of hundreds of scientific articles on its medicinal properties, proving its effects on shortening of a cold by boosting the production of white blood cells, it is used in tens of commercial remedies around the world.

Another well-known medicinal plant is chamomile, used to calm an upset stomach or taken as infusion for insuring a good night sleep.

But who knows about Bearberry, which is used treat urinary tract infections or Goldenseal, an anti-catarrhal and anti-inflammatory of all the mucous membranes that cover the digestive and the respiratory tract? Or Willow bark, that calms fever and colds as well as inflammations? or Hops and Passionflower, sedative plants supporting a sound sleep? Or St. Mary’s thistle taken for a good upkeep of the cleansing action of the liver? Or Devil’s claw, that helps with joint inflammation and arthritis, muscle aches and pains?

Herbs are natural remedies to many ailments and have been used since pre-historical times in all cultures and parts of the world. They are the support of nature to help us regain the lost balance in the different parts of our physiology as well as the missed equilibrium between the body and mind. Their unique beauty and attractiveness is the absolute lack of secondary side-effects and a zero poisoning factor when compared to pharmaceuticals.

Scientific back-ups of properties of most herbs are now provided by many labs and universities around the world. Without such unconfutable biochemical support of their properties their sale is not allowed in many countries. However, once the properties are proven and statistically insured, companies often invest in the extraction of few major active compounds to make new commercial products. The end result is never as efficient as the complete nature creation that contains several still unexplained chemicals that make the original plant part so effective in fighting a virus, a bacterium or a physiological dysfunction. Only rarely, like in the case of aspirin extracted from White Willow, the artificially obtained final product gains well deserved fame from its success in treating medical conditions. After all, plants had millions of years of trial and error to create perfect products that they use to protect themselves from their enemies, being them microbes or herbivores.

Some herbs (like chamomile, vervein, liquorice, peppermint etc.) are sold as teas in shops and supermarkets, but the quality (and efficacy) of bagged herbs is not quite like professionally grown, harvested and packaged herbs used in herbal medicine.

A best (and easier) way to take herbs compared to infusions is however in their liquid form, i.e. a tincture or extract. These concentrated forms are very easily administered and are more active than herbal teas. A few drops once or twice or three times a day and the natural medicine is inside your body to reach the parts that need re-equilibration and strengthening.

Best is always to ask a professional herbalist for the most specific herb that would treat a particular ailment or illness (from a migraine to bad digestion, from arthritis to eczema, from bronchitis to insomnia, from constipation to cystitis etc.) and refer to the same specialist for the delivery of a high quality pure herbal medicine.

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